RIP Philo

So Quant...

"I am proud to say that I did more for the stability and economic usefulness of the financial system than you bunch of whiners taken together."

Elaborate :)
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 10:31am
Yeah seriouslyl.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 10:34am
Oops a typo. Don't let that reflect poorly on my intelligence.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 10:34am
Oops. A mispriced CDO, a bankrupt institution, a bailout, and a crashed economy. Don't let that reflect poorly on my intelligence.  I got paid. -- Bankster
Permalink Ed Wood 
December 23rd, 2013 10:41am
I can't elaborate on everything, unfortunately. Not yet.

But in general, it is undisputable that accurate pricing of financial instruments is beneficial for the stability of the system. And that's not all.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:06am
((sad trumpet))

Cleaning up after mobsters who employ you doesn't make you a Templar.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:09am
I value transparency, as well as accuracy.

As far as I could tell, the "Quant" method of valuing stocks was intricate and un-obvious.  That's why it sold so well, until it failed.

But hey, as long as it's accurate, we'll work on transparency.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:11am
Muppet, given how poorly you rate the US health care system, how can you be keeping that job in that hospital? You're part of the system which kills people.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:12am
"As far as I could tell, the "Quant" method of valuing stocks was intricate and un-obvious.  That's why it sold so well, until it failed. "

You can't tell shit from piss, Hubble...
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:12am
Insurers warp the US system, not hospital administrators.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:15am
Who pays the hospital, which pays your salary? The insurers.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:16am
Dude, no need to get scatalogical.  I'm just trying to understand what the fuck you're saying.

You can't really expect to brag about how noble your efforts have been, then descend to crap like that when questioned about it.

Well, you MIGHT expect that would be okay, but you'd then not be demonstrating the intelligence you keep trying to claim.

Really, I'm not trying to be difficult in either direction, I'm just insatiably curious what your "Quant" job is.  You're making it difficult to discover that, with illogical assertions followed by profanity.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:17am
"Well, you MIGHT expect that would be okay, but you'd then not be demonstrating the intelligence you keep trying to claim. "

No. I'm not demonstrating the patience you'd like me to demonstrate.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:19am
"You can't really expect to brag about how noble your efforts have been"

They weren't noble - I work for money, like you and Colm. I said they were honest and useful.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:20am
No judgement here, but what do you mean by "accurate"? Kind of strange term to use as far as value goes.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 11:20am
Derivatives profits are driven by negative real interest rates (Fed Funds Rate of 0%-0.25%), while real inflation is much higher.

In a complex derivatives transaction, this government subsidy is packaged and sold, enabling large corporate clients to borrow more cheaply than they could otherwise.

If you look at the math behind any profitable derivatives transaction, it involves the Federal Reserve interest rate subsidy to banks.

The financial industry provides no meaningful value to the rest of society.  They get massive unearned profits from their ability to print money by borrowing at 0% and lending at higher rates, either directly or indirectly via complex derivatives.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 11:21am
> in general, it is undisputable that accurate pricing of financial instruments is beneficial for the stability of the system

Isn't it pretty obvious you failed at that?

All the institutions went defacto bankrupt.  Sounds like somewhere you had the price wrong, no?
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:21am
FSK
Can you walk us through that math?
I buy a call, bank sells it. For example, if that works as a start.
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:23am
"Isn't it pretty obvious you failed at that? "

No. It's only what the parties which lost money would like you to believe.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:24am
>But in general, it is undisputable that accurate pricing of
>financial instruments is beneficial for the stability of the
>system. And that's not all.

Who were you pricing financial assets for? Which financial assets?
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 11:24am
"No judgement here, but what do you mean by "accurate"? Kind of strange term to use as far as value goes."

E.g. if you hold this option to expiry and hedge it, will the hedging cost be as predicted by the model.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:25am
Or instruments, rather.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 11:25am
Keep reaching.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:25am
"Who were you pricing financial assets for? Which financial assets?"

Who did you work for? What software did you write?

Why am I the only one here who's asked such detailed questions about their life?
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:25am
"Derivatives profits are driven by negative real interest rates (Fed Funds Rate of 0%-0.25%), while real inflation is much higher. "

This is bullshit: people traded derivatives when rates were much higher (e.g. in the 90s or the 80s).
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:26am
The banks had the right price for everything, how did they go under?
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:26am
Didn't EVERYONE lose money?  Except for the bankers who got commissions and bonuses.

You can't vanish $15 trillion of expected value overnight, without virtually everyone getting hit by the shrapnel.

I mean, just because the Fed implemented an $800 billion dollar prop-up of the system, you can't really claim that as a "win".  Except in some bizarro world, where not dying in an accident because your air-bag did its job is considered "just part of the normal driving experience".
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:27am
> This is bullshit: people traded derivatives when rates were much higher (e.g. in the 90s or the 80s).

Probably not the absolute rate, but the lower rate banksters get because of government subsidy -- discount window, emergency loans, etc
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:28am
> Why am I the only one here who's asked such detailed questions about their life?

You were near the center of an enormous explosion.  We're naturally curious.
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:29am
Implosion?
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:29am
Crisis.  Tragedy.  World Altering Event.

It's natural people would be curious.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:30am
"The banks had the right price for everything, how did they go under?"

The one I worked for, didn't.

Also, having good prices doesn't help you if your top management is deluded.

"Didn't EVERYONE lose money?"

Certainly not.

"Probably not the absolute rate, but the lower rate banksters get because of government subsidy -- discount window,"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discount_window

Discount rate in 2007: 6.5%. Yeah, super cheap.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:31am
"E.g. if you hold this option to expiry and hedge it, will the hedging cost be as predicted by the model."

That's a neat trick if you could pull it off.

How do you handle the "it works until it doesn't, and then it fails catastrophically" problem?
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 11:31am
So here's Quant in this thread:

"I am proud to say that I did more for the stability and economic usefulness of the financial system than you bunch of whiners taken together."

"Oh really What did you do exactly"

"WHY SO MANY QUESTIONS?"


heh.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 11:32am
Don't trade stuff you don't understand.

Monitor your risks.

Control your traders.

Watch your funding costs.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:33am
+1 Bassanio.  Good question.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:33am
> Discount rate in 2007: 6.5%. Yeah, super cheap.

Are you trying to claim the banks weren't benefiting from government subsidy is 2007?  Keep in mind 2007 position blew up in 2008 and were bailed out.
Permalink Walter 
December 23rd, 2013 11:40am
The derivatives market and LBO market did not explode until after 1971/1975, when the gold standard was finally completely abandoned.  Since then, the Federal Reserve has almost always kept interest rates less than true inflation, which is a massive subsidy to banks and the derivatives market.

It is a tragedy that Google hires smart people and has them work on figuring out how to get people to click ads.  It is a tragedy that the financial system hires smart people and has them work on figuring out how to loot the financial system via complex derivatives.

Derivatives are complex.  It's hard work to do them correctly.  It's still a net loss to society as a whole.

Regarding an example, I don't have the time for that right now.  I'll do one later.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 11:41am
Society would totter along just fine without complex financial instruments.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:41am
+1 Muppet.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 11:42am
+1 muppet. Would probably be slightly richer for it, in fact.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 11:44am
Oh, you know, society would totter just fine without antibiotics. It did, for centuries.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:45am
I suspect more than slightly, given the current wealth distribution, but can't really claim to know.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:45am
Oh God Quant I'm going to print out where you just compared antibiotics to complex financial instruments on a betterment of humanity scale and hang it on my wall.

In the bathroom.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:46am
>Oh, you know, society would totter just fine without antibiotics.
>It did, for centuries.

It's unbelievable that you can even make the comparison.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 11:46am
"Since then, the Federal Reserve has almost always kept interest rates less than true inflation"

That's bullshit.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 11:47am
In defense of Quant, on a global history scale, antibiotics have primarily benefited affluent whites...
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:47am
The Federal Reserve does, sometimes, temporarily raise interest rates higher than inflation.  This causes a recession and enables banks to steal assets via foreclosure.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 11:48am
See, so the real culprit is the FED, an institution run by politicians.

But the politicians are clever and they pushed the blame on the individuals, creating a scapegoat.

We're like Jews in Germany after 1918.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:50am
Now you're just flat out trolling, because you've got nothing.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:51am
I've got some assets, thank you.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:52am
His bank didn't go under. They got their subsidy by fraudibg LIBOR. We've been here before.
Permalink Ed Wood 
December 23rd, 2013 11:57am
In all seriousness, you seem to have above-average social awareness, so I think the reason that we're all so interested in debating you on this particular point is that your blind spot when it comes to global financial shenanigans is such a contrast. It's so glaring.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:57am
But then there's that expression about how a man can't see something that would cost him his job, or whatever.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:57am
"In all seriousness, you seem to have above-average social awareness"

That's why I don't fall for stereotypes.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:58am
Well, I lost my job once because I priced things honestly, so there you go.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 11:58am
You still have a great yawning blind spot.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 11:59am
If you think the Federal Reserve and government act independently of what the large banks tell them to do, that's you're problem.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 12:04pm
So I rule the world? Fantastic!
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 12:13pm
I thought you said you were smart.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 12:14pm
I was being ironic.

I also think it's very unfair to resort to this sort of emotional/moral blackmail which you carry out here. You have a different opinion about the workings of our financial system, fine, but accusing who anyone who doesn't share it of moral failings is really not fair.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 12:16pm
I don't think you're morally suspect, I think you're cognitively impaired on this one subject.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 12:16pm
Ah, so now you imply that I'm what exactly, mentally impaired? That's also unfair.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 12:17pm
Seriously dude, quit it.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 12:18pm
It is very hard for someone to accept that their job destroys value, especially when their are well-paid and the job itself is difficult.

It's one thing to say "This job pays well, and I do it because that's my best option in a corrupt system."  If you think your financial job genuinely provides value, that's too much cognitive dissonance.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 12:20pm
Complex financial instruments do provide some value in some places. For example, they're a relatively cheap form of insurance in some instances; say, an airline wants to lock in the price of jet fuel. But they've been very poorly regulated and net net, their cost to society exceeds their benefits.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 12:33pm
Seriously, what's so complex to you in a swap?
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 12:37pm
The base concept of a default swap is corrupt.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 12:41pm
>Complex financial instruments do provide some value in some
>places. For example, they're a relatively cheap form of insurance
>in some instances; say, an airline wants to lock in the price of
>jet fuel.

Attaching a roulette wheel to the airline industry isn't going to make it better.

Some airlines did well out of swaps. Others did not. Either way, their profitability was disconnected from the job of actually running an airline.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 12:48pm
"The base concept of a default swap is corrupt."

Why?
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 12:50pm
>I also think it's very unfair to resort to this sort of
>emotional/moral blackmail which you carry out here. You have a
>different opinion about the workings of our financial system,
>fine, but accusing who anyone who doesn't share it of moral
>failings is really not fair.

Emotional blackmail? Oh get over yourself.

We're just reminding you that you can't feast on the spoils of a corrupt and broken system with a clear conscience.

You're free to leave the industry at any time. Plenty of other jobs you could do.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 12:52pm
I left the academia because its morally corrupt, I feel much better in finance, ethics-wise.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 1:06pm
LMFAO
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:08pm
You have no idea.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 1:13pm
I do, actually, but I still wouldn't compare the two. The potential for harm is high on both sides but I'd argue that it's significantly worse where you are.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:16pm
You don't. Have you ever worked in a research institution? Have you witnessed how grant money is shared? Have you seen how publications are pushed through?
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 1:18pm
Not first hand but I have acquaintances who have and I've read plenty of gripes on blogs and in published articles about it. I'm not a wide eyed naif.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:21pm
"If you think your financial job genuinely provides value, that's too much cognitive dissonance."

Conversely, if you fail to recognize that modern finance has massively contributed to the living standards of the average joe in the last sixty years, you're also deliberately being a twat.
Permalink Bluebeard 
December 23rd, 2013 1:23pm
I've witnessed it. A lot of my friends are PhDs/researchers. Their life is, by all accounts, a living hell.

One of them has a boss who fakes results.

Others are pushed to their breaking limit by advisors who want conclusive publishable results. Which as anybody who has done research knows, often, just doesn't happen.

Academia is shit, Quant is right about that.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:24pm
>Conversely, if you fail to recognize that modern finance has
>massively contributed to the living standards of the average joe
>in the last sixty years, you're also deliberately being a twat.

Oh really. Explain that one in more detail would you? What exactly has it done?
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:25pm
>Conversely, if you fail to recognize that modern finance has massively contributed to the living standards of the average joe in the last sixty years, you're also deliberately being a twat.

Much like a drug dealer giving out the first hit for free.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:25pm
When you lend out money to finance new investment, it's ALMOST as if you did **all the work yourself**.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:28pm
Hey look they helped post-Depression laborers temporarily provide artificial demand for overpriced real estate.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:30pm
Because real interest rates are negative, financing a venture by borrowing is almost always more attractive than growing via reinvested earnings.

Banks do lend money to finance new ventures.  However, because the monetary system is corrupt, they're more attractive than the alternatives.

It's silly to point out businesses financed by banks as evidence of their value, because via lobbying they rigged the system so they're the most attractive option.

More than 100 years ago, it was more common for businesses to grow via reinvested earnings.  Banks didn't like the freedom this gave businesses, so they lobbied for the corrupt system we have now.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
December 23rd, 2013 1:34pm
"Much like a drug dealer giving out the first hit for free."

How else can your average Homer Simpson live in a three bedroom two bathroom house and drive a car if it wasn't for the ability to borrow the capital to do so? I'm not defending the banksters, I'm just saying that credit is generally a good thing, the fact that it's been turned into a crooked fuckfest has more to do with a rotten system than being a bad idea.
Permalink Bluebeard 
December 23rd, 2013 1:39pm
I think that's again how most businesses grow now. Banks don't really give out loans to small businesses any more. They like to finance real estate speculation instead.

The former is somewhat socially beneficial (although still not that laudable) while the latter is basically totally parasitic.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:40pm
Without that credit, the prices wouldn't be so unattainable.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:41pm
Unless you really think that a Honda Civic is worth $30,000.
Permalink muppet 
December 23rd, 2013 1:41pm
>How else can your average Homer Simpson live in a three bedroom
>two bathroom house and drive a car if it wasn't for the ability to
>borrow the capital to do so?

Renting.

>I'm not defending the banksters, I'm just saying that credit is
>generally a good thing, the fact that it's been turned into a
>crooked fuckfest has more to do with a rotten system than being a
>bad idea.

Why is credit such a great thing? It's one of the most socially destabilizing forces we know. As many wars have been fought over it as have been over religion. It provides a way for the rich to leech from the poor.

So you're telling us it's great because THANKS to credit you can now spend 14 years' wages on a 2 bedroom home?

Whoa, fantastic.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:43pm
"More than 100 years ago, it was more common for businesses to grow via reinvested earnings."

You would trade the 19th Century economy for the one we have today? Seriously?

There was a reason the Fed was created. It was a good reason, and it's worked out OK on the whole.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 1:44pm
Yes, but some people today have forgotten what went on without the Fed overseeing the banks, and the FDIC, and Federally guaranteed home loans.  So they're free to scoff, and look down on the very mechanisms that are preserving their ability to buy a house and have a decent living.  "If I don't think it's important, it must not be."

The New Deal has worked so well, that now some people think we don't need it any more.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 1:47pm
The anti-new dealers were against it from day one. It threatens their class interests. They were always going to attempt to destroy it.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 1:50pm
They've been trying to destroy the New Deal since it started. They've had a lot of success lately, unfortunately.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 1:51pm
This is true, that's how we got the 2008 crash -- too many people ignoring the New Deal, and paying attention to bogus claims by Financial Institutions that they "simply couldn't compete" if New Deal legislation remained in place.

Well, guess what?  Glass-Stegal was revoked, the Financial Institutions were allowed to offer CDO's to "compete", and instead of success we got the greatest crash since 1928.

And even now, the anti-Keynesians in the Republican Party are preventing a full recovery, by demanding cuts in spending.

We gotta get that Tea-Party outta there!
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 1:59pm
We're all being fucked in the arse. FYI.
Permalink what are you reading for? 
December 23rd, 2013 2:00pm
You got the New Deal thanks to no holds barred honest to god *communists*.

Something the country seems to have forgotten..... ah well :)
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 2:01pm
Ooh.  "Communists".  Well, that's answered that question.

Exercise for the student: What question DOES that answer?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 2:03pm
"Why is my new deal disappearing?"
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 2:06pm
Really?  I thought the answer was:

"Because COMMUNISM, the New Deal is bad."

Despite 80 years of success.  Followed by 10 years of disaster when key laws were revoked.

Another possible answer is:  "What is the most powerful non-sequitur a person could try against the New Deal?"
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 2:08pm
Hub, fellow travelers always hated the liberals more than the conservatives, because by reforming capitalism and saving it from its excesses, they forestalled the Revolution that would bring them to power.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 2:11pm
This is true.  "Communism" per-se had very little to do with it -- except that "Communism" is what the Corporatists feared the New Deal would lead to.  They were wrong then, they were wrong 10 years later, and they're wrong now.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 2:16pm
>Really?  I thought the answer was: "Because COMMUNISM, the New Deal is bad."

I don't know if you noticed, but I'm not Joe McCarthy and I happen to think the new deal was a pretty neat idea.

I guess I should have been more clear on these two matters.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 2:17pm
True.  So you really DO think it was ACTUAL communists that got us the New Deal?  And that was a GOOD thing?

Wow, you're MORE delusional than Joe McCarthy.

I never thought I'd put THAT in a sentence.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 2:18pm
Hub, there were actual Communists in the US in the 20's and 30's (my Dad's union was a hotbed) and they did influence the debate in the US. There actually used to be a left wing.

Colm is overstating its influence, but it was not nothing.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 2:20pm
>This is true.  "Communism" per-se had very little to do with it --

The new deal did not arise out of nothing one day coz roosevelt thought it was a neat idea. It followed a series of *massive* strikes organized, by and large, by the communist party USA.

Oh, and they started to form links with the newly emerging superpower of the Soviet Union.

The elites were CRAPPING themselves. That's why you got a new deal. They were terrified.

That's also where all the animosity against communists in America came from.

Nowadays, they face no such opposition and are happily unraveling those reforms.
Permalink Colm 
December 23rd, 2013 2:24pm
I didn't say it was nothing, I said that Communists didn't get us the New Deal.  I thought we agreed we weren't going to make arguments like that anymore.  "Let's assume Hubble, by saying Thing-A, has actually said Thing-B doesn't exist.  Thing-B DOES Exist!  Bad Hubble!  Bad!"

Sure, there were Communists around at the time.  But they had concluded the Great Depression was a complete repudiation of Capitalism, and Communism held all the answers.  As you say, Roosevelt put in place "Just enough Socialism" to protect Capitalism from its worst abuses.

And as you said, pure Communists hated this -- they WANTED Capitalism to fail so THEIR ideology could take over.  Which didn't happen, and when in the world it DID happen their ideology quickly degraded into military dicatorships.

The test of time has demonstrated that "Just enough Socialism" is an excellent response to the abuses of Capitalism.  If only Corporatists would quit fucking with the rules.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 2:25pm
"The elites were CRAPPING themselves. That's why you got a new deal. They were terrified.

That's also where all the animosity against communists in America came from."

The Red Scare started after WWI with Wilson putting Debs in prison.

You also shouldn't underestimate the animosity generated by the SU's brutal, proselytizing atheism. They lost a lot of allies (such as the Catholic Church) because of it.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 2:33pm
Colm was right, the fear of the Soviet Union's influence over the working class was a powerful factor in mitigating the predatory behaviour of American capitalists.

I read a book on management from the 60s. It was full of sentences like "US business must show the workers that capitalism too can take care of their needs".

Now, there's no competing economic model, so capitalists don't need to even try.
Permalink Quant 
December 23rd, 2013 2:42pm
Pretty much Quant.
Permalink Bassanio's Creditor 
December 23rd, 2013 2:43pm
Glad we got that settled.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
December 23rd, 2013 3:31pm

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